David Gill attacks Daniel Levy's transfer policy, calls Spurs-Berbatov talks 'a nightmare'

Daniel Levy

David Gill has criticised the way Spurs chairman Daniel Levy conducts transfer business.

Former Manchester United chief executive David Gill has told the Manchester Evening News that Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy likes to do transfer business late in transfer windows.

Gill left his role at Old Trafford in 2013, after years of working alongside manager Sir Alex Ferguson and helping United dominate English football.

During his time in that role at United, Gill had to communicate and work with a host of rival executives and chairmen, notably Tottenham's Daniel Levy.

A famously tough negotiator, Levy did sell the likes of Michael Carrick and Dimitar Berbatov to the Red Devils - but Gill has admitted that it wasn't always easy to deal with the Spurs supremo.

Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, Gill opened up about the transfer that took Bulgarian strikers Berbatov to Old Trafford on deadline day in September 2008.

Gill claims that he initiated contact over a deal for Berbatov as early as June, but talks with Levy and Spurs were 'a nightmare', and believes that Levy prefers to do deals late in transfer windows.

"I don’t know (why they do it so late). It is very difficult," said Gill. "With Tottenham, I’m not speaking out of turn, and Daniel Levy, he would like to do that."

"In 2008, when we won the Champions League, we decided that we couldn’t rely on Tevez, Rooney and Ronaldo to score all the goals so went for another forward and that was Berbatov. I spoke to Daniel Levy in June that year, made an offer, and it went on for the whole summer."

"It was a nightmare. In the end I felt it affected Spurs because we did the deal in the end, at midnight on deadline day, so Tottenham couldn’t get a replacement in. The way the deal got done was that Daniel needed a striker and asked about Fraser Campbell. So Alex had to phone up Fraser and say ‘by the way Frasier, do me a favour, you’re going to Tottenham now’. And that’s how it happened.

"What I’m saying is that Daniel probably squeezed an extra million pounds out of us, but he probably could have got £29m or so two weeks earlier and allowed time to get a different striker and spend that money wisely," he added.

The criticism of Levy comes just weeks after Tottenham suffered a frustrating end to the transfer window. Sky Sports reported on deadline day that West Brom had rejected four bids from Spurs for striker Saido Berahino, whilst Goal even added that - on the final day of trading - Southampton had snubbed a cash-plus-player offer from Tottenham for midfielder Victor Wanyama.

That prompted some supporters to suggest that Spurs had left their bids for top targets too late, leaving no time for the selling clubs to find replacements.

It certainly fits in with what Gill says about Levy, but the Spurs chairman always does what is best for his club - and his brinkmanship has also had its successes over the years too, meaning he may not deserve quite so much criticism for simply keeping the best interests of Tottenham - and their finances - at heart.

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